Lotus Elan

Rear Strut Brace Query

PostPost by: 111Robin » Wed Jun 01, 2022 7:54 am

I've just reinstalled the fuel tank, correctly positioned as the outlet union is located through the floor hole but I'm struggling to fit the strut cross brace now. When I offer it up to the tank the brace is about an inch away from contacting the mounting locations at each end, scratching my head to see what the problem is. Have I missed some spacers when I removed it ?. If anyone has a photo showing the brace fitted it would help.
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PostPost by: alanr » Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:36 am

Unsure if this photo will help with your problem, but when I replaced the fuel tank ( Axminster) in my +2 I didn't remove the strut bracing bar at all. I just put the tank in via the boot but as you can see there are no spacers fitted.
022.jpg and


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PostPost by: 111Robin » Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:46 am

Thanks Alan,
Do the straps go over the brace as shown in your photo?, that may be the issue as I put the straps on first. However there are qitness marks of the straps on the sound deadening felt on the back of the brace that made me think the brace fitted ontop of them. I removed it to paint it.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:28 am

Straps go over the brace.
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PostPost by: alanr » Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:30 am

Yes the straps do go over the top of the strut brace. I put them back the same way as they were originally.

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PostPost by: 111Robin » Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:49 am

Great thanks, that must be the issue then, I'll reposition the straps.
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:15 pm

Are you sure guys? Mine didn’t and there’s no marks to show they ever did. Maybe Lotus did both.

F5D32D96-E795-4022-B147-7BCB155E868D.jpeg and
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PostPost by: alanr » Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:25 pm

Absolutely sure.
How they are shown in that pic is wrong. The straps should definitely go over the brace.

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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:47 pm

Pic from the workshop manual. As I said maybe Lotus did both.

Tank pic.jpeg and
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PostPost by: 111Robin » Thu Jun 02, 2022 6:10 pm

I have to say fitting them over the brace was difficult, the straps wouldn't reach far enough for the thread to pass through the hole so I ended up cutting part of the rubber out to allow them to fit. It looks wrong like this but if it is correct I'll leave it for now.
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PostPost by: ianthomson72 » Thu Jun 02, 2022 7:52 pm

Just checked mine — over the brace.
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PostPost by: XTi » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:23 am

In both of my (1969) Plus 2's the straps were fitted directly around the tank. i.e. Not over the tank. To my eye it looked like they were supposed to be fitted that way.
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PostPost by: 111Robin » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:41 am

There were witness marks of the straps on the felt pad on mine so I am assuming it was fitted over the straps as well but I couldn't get it to fit this way however I think this is due to the thickness of the rubber behind the straps. I might try it again as I had to remove some of the rubber anyway. It looks more "correct" like this I think.
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PostPost by: mbell » Sat Jun 04, 2022 8:16 am

Mine is over the tank.

I would recommend fitting that way. The straps are only fitted to the body by a few rivets and are holding a heavy tank. Having the strap around the brace means the tank is secured to a strong structural member so the tank is much more likely to say put it exposed to a high shock event like a crash.
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PostPost by: 111Robin » Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:36 pm

Looking at this more closely I really don't think the strap is meant to be pulled down over the sharp edge of the brace, this could easily lead to fretting occurring over time and weakening of the straps. If it was intended to fit over the brace there would be cutouts in the brace to remove this sharp edge. I know some may have left the factory like this but it just doesn't look like it was designed this way. I've relocated my straps below the brace and it looks more correct in my opinion. My original problem was the rubber strips were too thick and were causing the brace to stand off too far from the mounting points. With a bit of trimming the rubbers it now fits nicely over the straps.
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